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Friday, March 12, 2010

Going to the circus only to watch the boys

We’ve never taken the kids to the circus,” the counselor says to me and by the regretful tone in his voice, it’s obvious we’ve made a terrible mistake.

My mind scrolls through highlights of amusement parks, parties and special events we’ve taken the boys too and I say back to him: Yes, honey, I’m sure the lack of circus exposure qualifies as child abuse for sure.”

But the counselor is serious about this, let’s call it “circus neglect”, but he’s also a big kid in a man’s body. He loves to play with bouncing balls, watch animal tricks on you-tube and eat Halloween candy until he’s sick. So what he’s really saying is “I want to go to the circus.”

Am I a lucky wife, or what!

I purchase 5 tickets (; they were $6.00 a ticket) to the circus (Reef’s still free because his little buns don’t take up much space) in downtown Phoenix. The circus is big business now. It’s no longer in a red and white striped big top tent held together with ropes, but a 40,000 seat cosmopolitan air-conditioned arena.

We find our seats and watch as the elephants make their way onto the massive three-ring stage when something magical happens.

Our kid’s faces start to glow, their cheeks turn rosy and their eyes light up. They’re on the edge of their seats watching with such delight that it takes my breath away.

And so for most of the night, I watch Chandler, who’s just 10, but he still has so much innocence about him, he’s quite taken with the tigers, especially the albino one. And Payson, my little boy who rarely sits still is mesmerized by the racing motorcycles in the metal mesh balls. And Mayer, laughing at the clowns chasing the poodles, pointing out to me the silly costumes.

That dog is wearing pink shorts,” he says.

And Reef, overly-stimulated by the lights and live elaborate band, but he’s good as long as a bottle is in his little paws and the counselor, enjoying every minute because he wanted to take his kids to the circus.

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